Pattern testing Pisco Dress by SBCC Patterns

Hi sewing friends! In today’s post I will share with you yet another pattern I had the honour to test before it’s release into the wild. This time it is a pattern by Betsy, from Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Patterns. Few weeks ago I noticed a call out for pattern testers on Betsy’s Instagram Stories and straight away jumped into it without even thinking. In all honesty I need to admit that this was my very first time making a pattern by SBCC. Imagine my reaction when I realized that they cater for petite women in particular!!! OMG!!! This gets better and better! Will this be my TO GO pattern company from now on??? But enough of my rumbling…lets talk about the Pisco Dress!


Pisco top/dress is a pattern designed for a knit fabrics. It comes as a semi fitted dress option that depending on your fabric choice can be made into more sporty and everyday dress or more of a cocktail and evening dress or you can make a cute top that is great for layering.

The pattern is drafted with princess seams, nice round neckline and a shaped armhole bands that I see myself hacking into a cap sleeves !?

What is great and very unique about this pattern is the option of mix and matching different bra sizes and lengths. It can be a little confusing at first but it is so simple and genius on Betsy’s part. First you have the option of picking a cup size between B,C or D, next you need to choose the lenght of your bodice and skirt. The pattern comes in two lenghts: petite and average and last you pick your size. Just brilliant!!! If you are short waisted pick a petite lenght bodice, if you are long waisted pick average lenght bodice and so on and so forth.

Pattern instruction shows clear illustrations of each step , but omit the fabric layout recommendation. This is understandable, because it would take pages to showcase every single mix option for each size and lenght, however it includes a detailed yardage requirements for all options.

Pattern adjustments

Based on my body measurements I chose cup size C with both petite bodice and skirt in size XL. My waist was falling slightly outside, but looking at the finished measurements I made a decision to try it as it is without grading. I am amazed by how well it fits me, especially on the back! I always have to make some sort of sway back adjustment, but this time it was not the case. It got me thinking…do I even have a sway back, or is it all about proportions???

Obviously this being a tester version it ws not perfect and Betsy made a couple of minor twicks to the pattern that eliminated armhole gaping and gave extra ease for bigger sizes.

The only alternation I had made this time was to “shave off” about 7 mm at the shoulder seam to reduce the gaping. Everything else is exactly as it is on the pattern and I couldn’t be happier!

Fabric choice

To make this dress I purchased this lovely navy Ponte di Roma fabric with white polka dots from 1st for Fabrics. It was £6.50 per meter and I got 2.5 meters because I was not sure at that point how much I will need it. It has perfect amount of stretch for this dress and it is not too heavy. I had used only 1,2 meter so have enough for another project! Looks like the top version will be great for some fabric scrap busting….some color blocking perhaps?!

Sewing the pattern

It took me about 30 mins to cut out the pattern pieces and 2 hours to sew the garment, which is super fast! The dress is made out of 5 panels ( 1x front, 2x sides, 2x backs) plus neckline and armhole binding. That is all!

Final thoughts

You probably guessed that I am absolutely over the moon with this pattern! It feels like it was drafted bespoke for my body. I will be using an re-using this pattern time and time again in the future and already planing to buy ALL of SBCC patterns!

~if you are petite you must have this dress ~

Monika xxx

Do you follow pattern layout instructions?

Hi sewing friends! I am wondering today if you always follow the instruction on pattern placement? I for once never even bother to look at it and would play a Tetris on my fabric with all pattern pieces. It takes time but I like to be as economical as possible and doing my own pattern layout allows me to save extra fabric that can be used in next project.

Typically the pattern instruction would tell you to fold a fabric together along the salvage edges and layout the pattern as required following the grain line and fabric print direction if necessary. This is a good system if you have many pieces and not all of them are on hold, otherwise you are ending up with a lot of wasted fabric that may be to narrow for anything else. As example here I used pieces from Agnes top pattern (by Tilly and the Buttons) which would use about 120 cm of my fabric lenght as most of the pieces need to be placed on fold and if you look at fabric requirement for Agnes top with cropped sleeves this is exactly how much it is recommended.

What I like to do in this situation is to fold over one salvage edge to the middle of the fabric.

This way I use about 146 cm of my fabric lenght but also my left over piece is much wider, which would be easier to find usefulness in the next make. The best option however is to have an idea what other pattern might be used it for and cut it at the same time.

In this scenario I decided to make a Molly top ( by Sew Over It) with short sleeves, however the pattern pieces do not fit on the other half of the fabric.

That is when my Tetris game starts. I take the widest piece out of both pattern tops, measure its width so I know exactly how much fabric I need to fold on one edge. Next I fold over the other edge meeting both salvage ends. I lay out all pattern pieces to check if they fit and cut it out once I’m happy. This way I can make two tops out of 150 cm lenght of fabric, which is pretty good.

By follow this rule at all times and I managed to squeeze out those two tops from scraps of materials I used for Hibiscus, Frankie and Freya tops.

I had to be a little creative but I like the color combinations.

~what rules and instructions do you break?~

Monika xxx